The NT Acacia health system is live at Katherine Hospital

The Northern Territory Government has launched the first phase of its $259 million Acacia patient health record system at Katherine Hospital.

Acacia replaces six legacy clinical systems and integrates with a dozen others, providing healthcare professionals with information about allergies, alerts and patient medications, allowing them to make faster and less risky treatment decisions.

“The overall solution consists of the core TrakCare platform integrated with a range of other third party software solutions (such as radiology, pathology, dental, etc) to deliver the entire Acacia digital ecosystem,” NT Government Department of Corporate and Digital Development acting chief executive Chris Hosking said iTWire.

InterSystems ANZ country manager Darren Jones points out that “Our approach to TrakCare is a global product configured for local needs. TrakCare is highly configurable but has some unique delivery scenarios. care in the Northern Territory that required customization. We’ve brought this work back into our standard product to quickly benefit all customers through our continuous release process.”

The phased rollout is intended to minimize impact on frontline health workers and protect patient safety.

Once complete – in about three years – Acacia will help provide medical care in the Territories, including transient and often vulnerable people in remote communities.

“The Labor Territory Government is making sure our health system is fresh, modern and sustainable; it means we can provide the best patient care possible,” said Premier and Minister for Health, Natasha Fyles.

“We are grateful to our nurses and doctors. This new system will mean a nurse in a remote clinic, or a doctor in the intensive care ward of a major hospital, can use Acacia providing access to the same patient record in real time, allowing instant access to details about previous care provided in other clinical settings.

“Having a Territory-wide electronic patient record system will enable NT Health to better support our transient and most vulnerable Territories.”

Minister for Corporate and Digital Development Ngaree Ah Kit said “Territory Labor delivers the best available services to all Territories wherever they live, and ensures that our frontline workers have access to leading edge technology.

“The successful transition to Acacia at Katherine Hospital is testament to the ability, commitment, collaboration and hard work of NT Health clinicians and the project team in the Department of Corporate and Digital Development to develop and deliver a system that will benefit all Territories.

“This is the largest project of its kind undertaken in the NT, with more than 20 years of patient data from multiple systems and care settings transferred to Acacia.”

More than 100 jobs are involved in the implementation, and InterSystems is supporting IT internships at Charles Darwin University during the project.

“InterSystems is proud to support this once-in-a-generation initiative to fully digitize the Northern Territory’s public health system,” said InterSystems ANZ country manager Darren Jones.

“Despite the effects of the COVID pandemic, we are now seeing the results of everyone’s hard work and our long-term partnership with NT Health and the Department of Corporate and Digital Development.”

Asked if the company had learned anything from the project, Jones said “While the launch of NT Acacia progressed during the pandemic, having a team on the ground in the Northern Territory minimized potential disruption. That said, the InterSystems learned how to be highly adaptable and responsive during the implementation phases as a result of the COVID restrictions. We used new communication tools and processes that are now part of our standard implementation methodology.”


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